I'm going to start this off by apologizing if my question or thought is ignorant as I do not know too much about the PS3 encryption system. If it is useless, mods please delete this post.
I cannot imagine how much time, effort, and energy all of you guys have spent on this machine so I hope no one is insulted by my input but merely see it as a thought by someone who isn't too close to the subject matter.
My question/thought revolves around decrypting the PS3/HDD pairing. When booting up, the PS3 will identify the HDD connected, if it doesn't recognize the key it holds, it will ask to format the drive. Could we not then connect the PS3 via SATA to a PC running an HDD emulator program, where the PS3 is fooled into thinking its connected to an HDD, ask to format, and when saying yes, the PS3 would send the encryption 'key' through SATA while running the format operation?
If this is possible, then the 'key' can be used when re-pairing any HDD with that specific PS3 unit by formatting it using that given 'key', giving devs the opportunity to modify information on the HDD while keeping the encryption intact.
Again, my humblest of apologies if this is a naive and uninformed post. Please know that my intention is purely in the realm of trying to help. Hope it does.